The Microsoft Australia Developer Event, held at The Star in Sydney, was an event our development team was really looking forward to after it was announced that Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, would deliver the keynote speech.
The event was supposed to start at 9.30am, but it was delayed until 10am. Like most attendees, we were able to use this time to catch up with (old, and new) friends and speculate about what Microsoft would announce during the event.
Satya Nadella started the keynote with Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and organization to achieve more.
enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential
Mr. Nadella went on to explain that every organization needs to think about digital transformation, and how to transform their business into a digital business. He thinks Developers are crucial resources to help organizations achieve this dream. In fact, he believed that this type of transformation must start from the Developers.
Mr. Nadella also spoke about Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, and how they will create a whole new development experience focused on human impact. We were shown a video about an artificial intelligence (AI) project featuring Saqib, a core Microsoft developer living in London. Saqib lost the use of his eyes at age 7. He found inspiration in computing and is now working on Seeing AI, a research project that helps people who are visually impaired or blind to better understand who and what is around them. You can check out the project here.
It Wouldn't Be a Tech Conference without Blockchain
We were surprised to hear mention of blockchain during this conference. The WebJet team shared their experience on developing a blockchain project for hotel supply chains. They explained how they solve two problems using blockchain: reducing transaction processing time and reducing the time it takes to reconcile invoices.
They use the Ethereum blockchain platform, as it is the most widely supported platform currently on the market. Ethereum currently has three running nodes in Europe, Australia, and Asia as a proof-of-concept. The team shared their takeaways from this blockchain project. This was helpful: we need to think about security and backwards compatibility. We also need to be prepared to experiment...and then move on! You cannot get too attached to outcomes.
The coming Microsoft Ignite 2017 in Australia will feature another talk about blockchain. Hope to see you there!